Once expected to lead the Lakers franchise into the second coming of the Showtime-Era, Lonzo Ball was instead dealt alongside Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and a heap of first-round picks in order to land Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis.
Lonzo Ball Opens up on Lakers’ Anthony Davis Trade
Lonzo spoke at length about the trade and how he felt following it with Big Boy on LA’s 92.3. In what now seems to be the norm for NBA players, Lonzo actually didn’t find out that he was being traded until word of the deal broke online – though he does say that after being included in trade talks for so long, he knew that it was a matter of “when” not “if”.
When asked if he took the deal personally, he didn’t hold back in sharing his feelings. “They got rid of you,” Ball explained, “They don’t want you no more. I mean yeah, you gotta take it personal.”
Helping to cushion the blow is the fact that Lonzo gets to join a young team where he should be given the reins to essentially run the offense how he sees fit. Lonzo was at times electric but on the whole not the strongest fit alongside LeBron James and with the ball back in his hands considerably more, it should be interesting to see how the former second overall pick and his elite passing vision can translate to an expanded role.
Lakers Following Anthony Davis Trade
Despite losing their pair of former second overall picks in Ball and Ingram, the Lakers emerged from the Anthony Davis trade as arguably one of the best teams in the NBA. Anthony Davis looks on paper to be a natural fit alongside LeBron James and should serve as possibly the deadliest weapon that James has ever had the chance to play alongside.
Davis’ length and athleticism make him an ideal lob target in the pick and roll game and the fact that he can create his own looks and is an elite finisher around the rim gives the Lakers an easy safety valve to dump it inside. His athleticism and ability to fly up and down the court should prove to be a tremendous asset in the fast break game, especially given the Lakers roster makeup as a defense-heavy team that looks to rely on creating some easy points off turnovers.
Defensively, Davis looks to be the anchor on a much-improved unit compared to last season’s bunch. While talented, last year’s Lakers battled a plethora of injuries and struggled to find cohesion among the entire unit. In Davis, the Lakers get an elite rim protector who has the athleticism to step out and guard quicker players on the perimeter while still having the speed and timing to get back to the basket as a help defender. His presence alone should elevate the play of nearly everyone on the court and allow strong natural defenders like Avery Bradley and Danny Green to take more risks on the perimeter, potentially leading to more turnovers and points for the Lakers.